Over 200 illegal migrants deported to home countries from Libya
Tripoli, Nov 25 (IANS) The Libyan Anti-illegal Immigration Department deported more than 200 illegal migrants to their countries of origin.
According to Nasser al-Khatroushi, head of the Deportation Office, the migrants, who are from Egypt, Niger and Sudan, were deported by land on Thursday.
The deportation was done for the first time in collaboration with the Anti-illegal Immigration Departments of Eastern and Southern Libya, the Libyan official told Xinhua.
"Today, we are very happy to see officers from Western, Eastern and Southern Libya gathered here in Tripoli to solve the issue of illegal immigration, which is a complicated issue," said Mohamed al-Khoja, head of the Anti-illegal Immigration Department.
Libya has become a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a total of 20,842 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued at sea and returned to Libya so far this year.
In the meantime, 500 illegal migrants have died and 863 others gone missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, the IOM said.